This week I want to focus on additives. This one word encompasses both intentional and unintentional additives. I am only going to speak of the intentional additives, the unintentional is more disturbing.
Flavorings - these are used to boost the flavor of a product so our taste buds think it is a real food, when in reality it is not. These are usually made in a lab and many are linked to toxicity. A few to look for on your ingredients label:
Preservatives - usually used to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria, to keep food from decomposing or to stop the ripening process. Many increase allergy symptoms, asthma, eczema, migraines and can cause digestive distress. Some are even toxic! If you see abbreviated words like BHA, BHT, EDTA, TBHQ avoid them. The manufacturers are abbreviated them for a reason. Other preservatives to look out for: benzoates, proprionates, nitrates and sulfites.
Emulsifiers - these keep foods from separating, have anti-caking or anti-foaming properties. Some also control the rate of crystallization in a processed food. Some may not appear on the food label at all because it is considered an "incidental food additive" The emulsifiers are usually found in ice cream, yogurts, cakes, salad dressings, pre made cookies etc.
You want to look at your ingredients list for the above offenders, but don't worry, there are natural solutions to all of them and don't seem to carry the toxicity issues of their chemical counterparts.
This is our focus this week, go to your pantry and check your items. By now your pantry should be getting cleaner. The unfortunate thing is, even if you are buying better, cleaner products, some of these still tend to sneak in. Occasionally,when I review my products, I still find an item that slips by. It is something you need to be vigilant on because manufacturers are always making changes!